Monday 19 August 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Here are the business stories you need to know about this morning.

Irish Independent

* The State was billed €20m in bailout fees by the ­European Union and International ­Monetary Fund (IMF) last year, even though it left the bailout at the end of 2013.

By the end of 2014, fees of close to €300m had been charged since 2010. The ­charges are on top of interest payments on the bailout, which last year totalled €2.17bn and the ­previous year €1.9bn.

Fees were incurred when the State drew down a loan, or a tranche, under the three-year €67bn programme.

* Two additional funding ­sources for the Strategic ­Banking Corporation of ­Ireland (SBCI) totalling about €450m could be unveiled within months, the SBCI has said.

This would take the lending potential of the State-backed bank to more than €1.2bn.

Providers to the SBCI, set up to help provide cheap loans to small and ­medium-sized ­businesses, ­include the ­European Investment Bank, the Ireland Strategic ­Investment Fund, and German ­development bank KfW.

* The asset management business operated by the Davy group last year returned to profit after increasing revenues and reducing numbers employed.

According to accounts filed by Davy Asset Management Ltd to the Companies Office, the firm recorded a pre-tax profit of €1m last year after recording a pre-tax loss of €887,969 in a nine month period in 2013 - a positive swing of €1.96m.

The change in fortunes for the firm arose from the business increasing its revenues by 10pc, or by over €750,000 going from €7.282m to €8m.

The Irish Times

* The maintenance of the Irish-registered Airbus which crashed in Egypt over the weekend was the responsibility of the Russian authorities according to an agreement in the early 2000s.

An agreement with the Russian authorities, negotiated by the Irish Aviation Authority in 2002, set out that Ireland had to take responsibility for regulatory oversight and the Russians looked after the plane's maintenance.

The plane is said to be owned by a Dublin company that is a subsidiary of a US bank which holds its legal title to the aircraft.

* Greece's four main banks are under pressure to meet the European Central Bank's stress tests, as it must show how they will raise €14.4bn in fresh capital.

The banks have been given until Friday to formulate a plan to raise the capital that they are short, which an ECB health check revealed over the weekend.

Alpha Bank and Eurobank need €2.7bn and €2.1bn respectively, while Piraeus Bank needs €4.9bn and the National Bank of Greece needs €4.6bn.

* Ireland is in danger of losing its competitive edge, according to Engineers Ireland, who say that the government need to think  more strategically about the country's long-term infrastructure.

The body has called upon the government to develop a unit that will actively plan and manage capital development projects with the hope of it being something similar to Infrastructure UK.

Engineers Ireland's director general, Caroline Spillane, says that Ireland is under-funding its larger-scale infrastructure development.

Irish Examiner

* The country's largest insurance broker group has warned that motor insurance costs are like to rise again this year by 15pc.

The increase comes on the back of a near-27pc increase over the past year as loss-making insurance underwriters look to become profitable again.

Director general of the Irish Brokers' Association warned that the hikes will continue until insurers start to make money.

* Both farming and agri-science groups have appreciated the fact that the European Commission is taking its time to consider a World Health Organisation report that was released last week that claimed a link between meat and cancer.

President of the Agricultural Science Association, Neil Keane, said that he hopes the Commission will help clarify the findings from the report.

Mr Keane also said that all the hard work that the Irish food industry do can be harmed by reports such as the one produced by the WHO.

* China's manufacturing sector saw a reduction in its activity for a third straight month which may point to a loss in the economy's momentum despite numerous stimulation attempts.

To make matters worse China's services sector, which would be considered to be one of its healthier sectors, expanded at its slowest pace in seven years.

Economists at ANZ Bank said that even though the PMI has stabilised it is still to early to confirm a 'bottoming out'.

Online Editors

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